Belgium vs Portugal Euro 2020 Prediction, Odds, Betting Tips

  • Belgium topped Group B but did not have everything their own way
  • Portugal also stuttered en route to finishing in third place in Group F
  • Both teams have quality but Portugal’s defense could get them through

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Belgium vs Portugal Odds

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To Win the Match Odds
Belgium +150
Tie +215
Portugal +210

Belgium vs Portugal Pick

Our Pick

Back Portugal to beat Belgium. The Red Devils have not yet clicked at Euro 2020, and while the same could be said for Portugal, the reigning European champions arguably possess more big-game nous. Their contain-and-counter approach could work well against the Belgians.

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How to Watch Belgium vs Portugal

Belgium vs Portugal Information
Teams Belgium vs Portugal
Location La Cartuja, Seville, Spain
Time Sunday, 27 June 2021, 15.00 PM EDT
How to watch ESPN

Belgium Did Not Really Hit Their Stride in the Group Phase

Belgium were one of only three teams to accumulate maximum points in the group stage. They beat each of Denmark, Russia and Finland, scoring seven goals and conceding only one. Yet beyond the results, it is fair to say that Roberto Martinez’s side did not find top gear in Group B. Perhaps that was because they did not need to. Why overexert yourselves when you can win all three matches anyway? Yet there were signs in the first set of games that Belgium could be vulnerable against a top side like Portugal.

Their most impressive showing was the first, a 3-0 victory over an insipid Russia side in Saint Petersburg. Romelu Lukaku gave them the lead early on, but Belgium did not really find their rhythm in the opening 20 minutes. Russia had a fair amount of possession (albeit without doing much with it) but Belgium only started playing their best soccer once Lukaku had put them 2-0 up. After that there was some sharp interplay and neat combinations, with the excellent Lukaku regularly dropping deep to orchestrate the attacking moves.

Against Denmark, however, Belgium were fortunate. Perhaps any team would have found it difficult to play against the Danes that night. This was a few days after Christian Eriksen’s on-field collapse, and the players and fans in Copenhagen were determined to give the nation’s stricken superstar something to cheer. Denmark ran Belgium’s defense ragged, and it was only the visitors’ individual quality – provided on this occasion by Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne – that brought them a 2-1 win in the second half.

Belgium were also flat against Finland, with the opening goal not arriving until the 74th minute. A 2-0 triumph was par for the course, and nothing to particularly get excited about. There is no doubt that Belgium are about to face an entirely different proposition in the round of 16.

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Decision Time for Cautious Santos as Portugal Eye Another Title

All that might sound a little harsh on Martinez’s men. They did, after all, take nine points from nine – a significantly higher tally than Portugal, who managed just four. A 3-0 victory over Hungary in their opening encounter was not as one-sided a game as the scoreline suggests, before Portugal were dismantled in a 4-2 defeat by Germany. A 2-2 draw with France last time out meant, just like at Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo and co. advanced as one of the best third-place finishers.

Portugal were in a tough group, but the loss to Germany was worryingly comprehensive – particularly as die Mannschaft have hardly set the European Championship alight. Fernando Santos is a naturally conservative coach, so it was particularly concerning to see his team picked apart time and time again by Germany’s wing-backs. The final scoreline of 4-2 actually flattered the Portuguese.

Only the Netherlands scored more goals in the group phase than Portugal, which would appear to suggest that the criticism of Santos for being excessively cautious is wide of the mark. Three of those strikes came from the penalty spot, but Portugal did have the fourth-highest xG rate in the group phase. That shows they were creating good quality chances throughout, even though they had to play two fellow major nations in France and Germany

The shape of the Portugal team looked much better in their final match, when Santos opted for a 4-3-3 instead of a 4-2-3-1. With his driving runs and ability to progress the ball through the middle, Renato Sanches has made himself an automatic pick. Injuries aside, Portugal are unlikely to make too many changes to the side that drew with France.

Ruthless Portugal Could Punish Belgium’s Vulnerabilities

Portugal really struggled against Germany’s 3-5-2 formation. Belgium play a 3-4-3, and Martinez will no doubt be working on a plan for his wing-backs to replicate the performance of Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich in Munich. Santos, in turn, will be searching for ways to better protect his two full-backs.

Both teams have stellar individual quality, and this feels like a game that could be determined by which of the many stars are better on the day. Belgium would usually look to Eden Hazard and De Bruyne in such a scenario, but it is still not entirely clear how fit the two ex-Chelsea players are. In the group stage it was Lukaku who carried the team, and he will once again be a handful here.

Belgium will dominate possession, but Portugal were happy enough to allow France the lion’s share of the ball on Wednesday. They will adopt a similar strategy here, and hope that Ronaldo can continue his fine goalscoring form up front. Portugal won this tournament in 2016 and possess nous and experience in abundance. That could tip this seemingly even match-up in their favor.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]